Wow, it has been over 2 months since the last update on the pinball machine! But that has a reason, the past months have been very busy with everything but the pinball machine: work, jobs in and around the house, etc. In short: life happened
But, the past two weeks or so, I was able to spend some time on the machine again and some visible progress was made: the legs have been mounted to th
e machine, so it now stands on its own four legs. That felt like a milestone since the slightly outward facing legs really add to the overal look of the machine.
Next, the PC was mounted onto the drawer, cable gutters were added, and several of the additional PCB’s have been bolted to the drawer as well:
1) Ipac 2 FS32 – keyboard encoder: this little device connects to all the buttons and switches on the machine, sees when the switches are triggered, and sends them to the PC as keyboard presses. Those buttons have to correspond to the keys in the pinball simulator software. Besides buttons, there will be a few other switches or sensors in the machine that act as keyboard presses: when opening the coin door for example, or when entering a coin into the machine: if it is the right coin, a keypress will be sent telling the computer credits were inserted.
2) LedWiz 32-port USB light controller. This device connects to the PC via USB, receives signals from the computer and uses those signals to switch on and off one or more of its 32 output channels. As the name suggests, this controller is meant to be used for driving LED’s and it is able to drive 500 mA max. However, in this build, I am going to use 3W RGB LED’s, and a few electromotors that require a lot more juice, so that it why I will also use:
3) 2x Booster Boards. Made by VPForums community member Zebulon. These boards connect to the LedWiz outputs and use those signals to switch output ports that are capable of driving much larger loads. Each booster board contains 16 channels, so 2 are required if you want to boost all 32 channels of the LedWiz.
After all that was taken care of, I was unable to resist my urge to see if it would all work. So, I put the playfield screen in, connected it to the PC, added the backbox monitor and the DMD and fired the machine up to see if it works! It does, and though the video quality is lousy, I am sure you can understand the excitement when it all lit up! Check the video below: